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303 Pyrodex load for Lee Metford

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by batjka, Sep 22, 2008.

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  1. batjka

    batjka Member

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    Gentlemen,
    I have a Lee-Metford MKII that keyholes the bullets with the surplus ammo. I tried reloading for it using the 19.4 gr of 2400 and 174gr .312 Hornady bullets. Still keyholed.
    So my next try will be to use Pyrodex. I'm also thinking of switching to cast .313 bullets.
    Has anyone tried it? How much powder can one get into the .303 case. Do I fill it, compact, fill more, compact?
    Any advice is welcome.
    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. dwave

    dwave Member

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    I think you should slug the barrel, it might be way oversized. A friend of mine had a Lee #1 Mk.3 that had a barrel so large a .311 would fall right through it. Slugged around .318 according to him. Same thing happened to him. They would keyhole.

    Anyways, I have loaded BP into a .303. I filled the case up to almost the top (maybe 1/16th from the top) then put the round in. Depending on the weight of the bullet you might have to put a little less powder in. The biggest thing is to compress the powder a bit. NO AIR SPACES!!!!
     
  3. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

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    I recalled this one from the MSN BPCR board.
    Note that he was using real black powder. I would not compress a fake like Pyrodex more than just enough to be sure of no air gap.


    Well, I just yesterday, touched off the first test round in a "mosquito" gun just to see if it will go bang.
    Understand this is a "test bed" gun, a #$%^& bolt action. 24 inch barrel.
    Statistics:
    Remington Nickel case.
    WLR primer
    70 grains Goex FFFg AND I MEAN HEAVILY COMPRESSED
    215 grain bullet cast of WWL (90%ww/10%lino) (311284 sans GC)
    Emmertini Lube
    Velocity over the Oehler: 1693 fps
    Recoil, minimal
    Interesting.
    Actually this is non-other than the 1888 original BP loaded 303 British round except they loaded it with a cupro-nickel jacketed bullet.
    Test bed rifle is a P14 Winchester.
    COW listed the original 70 grain FFg BP load velocity at 1850fps! Well, I guess that my barrel is shorter than the Martini Enfields were. Also, it was 25 degrees and the bullet was slightly undersized.@ .311 and bore is .314.
    Next, to see if it will group at all. May have to paper patch that 311284 bullet....
    Yes, the world is getting smaller.
     
  4. Galil5.56

    Galil5.56 Member

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    Ian Hogg wrote about there being a "compressed pellet of extremely fine grained BP". Perhaps going to 4F BP and compressing as much as safely allowed will result in a decent load. Velocity as I recall was in the order of 1900 fps and it may be even necessary to paper patch to get the diameter up.
     
  5. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

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    I have read that the original BP .303 load was compressed hard and formed with a perforation the length of the charge, kind of like the fake powder pellets now sold for lazy muzzleloader season hunters.
     
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